Going South: American Noir in Mexico

7/1/11 to 7/29/11

In American noirs, Mexico is depicted as a torrid refuge where the fugitive can disappear into the disorder of daily life. Going South showcases films from the 1940s and 1950s-including Where Danger Lives, The Hitch-Hiker, Kansas City Confidential, and Touch of Evil-that imagine Mexico, or its border with the U.S., as a haven for desperate desires, inevitably foiled by corruption, fated love, and a tint of tequila.

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Past Films

  • Touch of Evil

    • Friday, July 29 9:15 PM

    Orson Welles (U.S., 1958). The border is crossed and re-crossed as Mexican narc Charlton Heston grapples with gangsters and Welles's monumentally corrupt cop in “the apotheosis of pulp” (New Yorker). (111 mins)

  • The Great Flamarion 

    • Saturday, July 23 6:30 PM

    Anthony Mann (U.S., 1945). Erich von Stroheim is a washed-up vaudevillian in Mexico City, recounting a tale of femme fatales, handguns, and too much alcohol, in Mann's darkly tragic noir. (78 mins)

  • His Kind of Woman

    • Sunday, July 17 7 PM

    John Farrow (U.S., 1951). This tongue-in-cheek noir comedy assembles Robert Mitchum, Raymond Burr, Vincent Price, and Jane Russell for a frenetic trip down Mexico way, where gamblers, exiled hoods, cabaret singers, and washed-up Hollywood stars all ride their luck. (120 mins)

  • Kansas City Confidential

    • Sunday, July 17 5 PM

    Phil Karlson (U.S., 1952). A disgruntled ex-con (John Payne) who is framed for a bank heist takes on the crooks who actually planned it, and discovers them posing as tourists in the seaside resort of Borados. This noir rogue's gallery includes Jack Elam, Lee Van Cleef, and Neville Brand. (98 mins)

  • The Hitch-Hiker

    • Friday, July 15 9 PM

    Ida Lupino (U.S., 1953). Two fishing buddies pick up a hitchhiker on their way to Baja, with predictably homicidal results, in actress/director Ida Lupino's compact noir jaunt through a pitiless Mexico. Photographed by the great noir cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca. (71 mins)

  • Out of the Past

    • Wednesday, July 13 7 PM

    Jacques Tourneur (U.S., 1947). In his first starring role, Robert Mitchum tracks a femme fatale (Jane Greer) for her wronged lover, Kirk Douglas playing a smarmy gambler. The tequila-soaked action takes us from Lake Tahoe to Acapulco and back again in this exquisitely atmospheric noir. (97 mins)

  • Ride the Pink Horse

    • Friday, July 1 7 PM

    Robert Montgomery (U.S., 1947). Luckless veteran Robert Montgomery heads for a border town during its annual fiesta to avenge a friend's death in this atmospheric postwar noir, written by Ben Hecht from a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. (101 mins)

  • Where Danger Lives

    • Friday, July 1 9:10 PM

    John Farrow (U.S., 1950). Love, noir, and psychosis merge when a psychiatrist (Robert Mitchum) falls for his bewitching patient (Faith Domergue); together they make a run for Nogales, addled and anxious, in John Farrow's hallucinatory classic. (84 mins)